Joy intermingled

As always, when life seems to stand still in the midst of heartache and loss, it keeps on moving and there is forever joy mixed in with the pain.

For instance,  my kids have been loved on and cared for more in the last 3 days by other members of our family than me and they think it’s pretty cool.  They are aware of what has happened but cannot process much of the reality of it.

Rylee tells me “Mama, are you sure this really happened?  It doesn’t seem like it could be real. Is Grampy really gone?”

Her words take my breath away and I respond on my knees at her level…”I feel exactly the same way.”

The boys still think it’s funny when someone farts at the dinner table.

Or when Kyler comes out of the bathroom having taken all his clothes off.

Or when they see Audrey pick up the cat by her tail.

The smiles will return for us.  The laughter that fills this home will come again.

But for the moment grief lives here and I know that is okay.

I thought I would faint with heartbreak as I watched my mother-in-law wring out and hang her her husbands clothing on the line to dry.

We don’t know how to walk this road.

How does one summarize the life of someone so dear in a couple of paragraphs?

Aren’t we too young to know how to do this?

Are we ever old enough to know how to do this?

Probably not.

The news that long time friends of my parents after 12 years of trying to get pregnant and two successful adoptions, are pregnant brought joy-filled tears today.

Finding an appropriate dress to wear to a funeral in a few short minutes of looking off the clearance rack  was one pleasant little gift of the day.

Abundant food, enough to cover our kitchen counters and table and two chairs left me sobbing in the kitchen yesterday.  I’m pretty sure food=love.  In a very complicated way actually, that food was like a piece of healing to my heart.  After a less than wonderful departure from our 10 years in ministry at church last fall, it was hands from that community that brought food to nourish us on this incredibly painful road.  It is so like God to bring things full circle….and rarely in the way I expect.

Although I missed the girls getaway with 3 of my best friends in Denver this weekend, I was blessed beyond measure to know that many there including my favorite author Sally Clarkson (who put on the conference) were praying for our family to get through these days.  Sally even sent me her latest book, signed by herself, which again was a sweet gift in the midst of it all.

God is good, all the time.  There is a constant swirling together of joy and pain.  In these moments of deep sadness its easy under the weight of it all to miss the good.

But it is here.



Wow. It blesses me so much to see you ALREADY finding joy in the midst of heartache. I know that as you continue on this journey of healing God will provide more of these precious moments. I pray you rest this evening, sleep soundly tonight and awake feeling refreshed and renewed tomorrow. Love to you my sweet sister.


Karissa, Thank you so much for sharing your heart and feelings. I am so very sad for you and Chris, my heart hurts for you. I am so far away at the moment – your blog has been such a blessing this evening. I will continue to pray for you guys – and I am so thankful that you are being loved so well..
Take care my friends, and again, thank you for sharing these intimate thoughts and feelings….


hugs to you my friend…you have a lot of people who love you all to pieces


I see Jesus in you as you and Christopher help your family process this time of gut wrenching grief. Thanks for letting us walk with you as we let the Lord fill up the hole in our heart.